Editor's note: For all his notoriety, Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán Loera has not been convicted for the crime of drug trafficking. The Huffington Post, in a report on Guzman's career as one of the world's most notorious crime bosses, notes that he's only been convicted of 3 less serious offenses. - Tom
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Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera (Spanish pronunciation: [xoaˈkin artʃiˈβaldo ɡusˈman loˈeɾa]; Sinaloa, 25 December 1954 or 4 April 1957) is a powerful and brutal Mexican drug lord who heads the Sinaloa Cartel, a criminal organization named after the Mexican Pacific coast state of Sinaloa where it was formed. Known as "El Chapo Guzmán" ("Shorty Guzmán", pronounced: [el ˈtʃapo ɡusˈman]) for his 168 cm (5 ft 6 in) stature, he became Mexico's top drug kingpin in 2003 after the arrest of his rival Osiel Cárdenas of the Gulf Cartel, and is considered the "most powerful drug trafficker in the world" by the United States Department of the Treasury.
Each year from 2009 to 2011 Forbes magazine ranked Guzmán as one of the most powerful people in the world, ranking 41st, 60th, and 55th respectively. He was thus the second most powerful man in Mexico, after Carlos Slim. He was named as the 10th richest man in Mexico (1,140th in the world) in 2011, with a net worth of roughly US$1 billion. The magazine also calls him the "biggest drug lord of all time." The U.S. Federal Government considers Joaquin Guzman "The most ruthless, dangerous, and feared man on the planet" and the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) estimates he has matched the influence and reach of Pablo Escobar, and now considers him "the godfather of the drug world". In 2013, the Chicago Crime Commission named Guzmán "Public Enemy Number One" for the influence of his criminal network in Chicago, though there is no evidence that Guzmán has ever been in that city. The last person to receive such notoriety was Al Capone in 1930.
Guzmán's Sinaloa Cartel transports multi-ton cocaine shipments from Colombia through Mexico to the United States, the world's top consumer, and has distribution cells throughout the U.S. The organization has also been involved in the production, smuggling and distribution of Mexican methamphetamine, marijuana, ecstasy (MDMA) and heroin across both North America and Europe. By the time of his 2014 arrest, Guzmán had exported more drugs to the United States than anyone else: more than 500 tons (450,000 kg) of cocaine in the U.S. alone.
Guzmán was first captured in 1993 in Guatemala, extradited and sentenced to 20 years in prison in Mexico for murder and drug trafficking. After bribing prison guards, he was able to escape from a federal maximum-security prison in 2001. He was wanted by the governments of Mexico, United States, and by INTERPOL. The U.S. offered a US$5 million reward for information leading to his capture, and the Mexican government offered a reward of 60 million pesos (approximately US$3.8 million). He was arrested a second time by Mexican authorities in Mexico on 22 February 2014. He was found inside a fourth-floor condominium in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, and was captured without any gunshots fired. Guzmán escaped from prison again on 11 July 2015 by exiting through a 1.5 km (0.93 mi) tunnel that led to a construction site. He was recaptured by Mexican marines and Federal Police following a shootout on 8 January 2016.